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Alexander Bain, from a croft at Watten, Caithness, …

Comment posted Question: How can we license fracking when we have permanent drought? by Robert Wakeham.

Alexander Bain, from a croft at Watten, Caithness, invented the principle of the fax machine in 1843. And then there were John Loudon McAdam, and John Boyd Dunlop. What planet do you assume they were on, Malcolm?

Robert Wakeham also commented

  • It’ll be very interesting to see how the marine turbine array in the sound of Islay interacts with shipping, and also the larger marine life from seals to basking sharks etc.
  • Ken, although I’m no great fan of PFI I can’t imagine many projects quite as disastrously managed as a very large hospital that suffers from a ‘fail dangerous’ power supply where the emergency generators have repeatedly failed to kick in when needed – ever since the hospital first opened.
  • If someone could invent a way of ensuring that ruminants got a regular glug of red wine the value added for a barbecue product could be a winner.
  • ‘…Free-Thinkers and Open-Minded folk….evidently spurious…’ Your arguments seem frequently to be the reverse of open minded, W.S.
  • That explains why I’ve never heard a cow fart, but I can assure you that it’s the reverse with goats – at least, if they’re feeding on typical mediterranean scrub. And there are plenty of goats in the world.

Recent comments by Robert Wakeham

  • Supreme Court finds for appellants on Named Persons
    Karl, though I didn’t attend I did see the start of the ‘blue parade’ because the West Coast Motors’ Citylink bus from Campbeltown arrived at Hillhead just as the marchers were emerging from Botanic Gardens at 10.30.
    There were plenty of them, and passing George Square on West Coast Motors’ (really) Scotrail shuttle bus from Central up to the bus station at 13.30 the square was a sea of blue and white, with a lot of EU flags as well.
    But the highlight of the day – a bit like the Kremlin unveiling their latest nuclear missiles in (the real) Red Square parades – was the unveiling of Scotland’s alternative to Trident.
    This was a piper, in great form, but with his pipes rigged as a multiple flamethrower (pointing skywards, of course).
    I’m told that the occasional heavy showers were no deterrent, and he was still belching flames in George Square.
    Probably required an EU derogation from all those pesky health & safety rules, but it was enough to make any aggressor think twice.
    A.Salmon, you’d have been proud of him.
  • Supreme Court finds for appellants on Named Persons
    ‘Rumbles’ in the City’s financial jungle might need taking with a pinch of salt, for the culture in that jungle seems so heavily committed to self-enrichment that there’s surely little chance of interest in such a long-term investment as Hinckley Point – unless St Theresa writes an open cheque.
  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    The update raises more questions:
    1 – if the Finlaggan’s mezzanine deck has ‘inbuilt’ problems, liability might lie with the designer / supplier, if CMAL / Calmac weren’t responsible for the detailed design.
    Maybe the non-performance of the mezzanine deck is the subject of contractual dispute – and, if so, arguably, the cost not only of fixing the fault but in lost revenue etc might not be to the public account.
    2 – It’s easy to assume that an ageing fleet is less reliable, but if adequate resources are committed to maintenance (at increasing cost) to a rigorous standard, and maybe with the accent on preventative maintenance, then surely there’s less inherent risk in running quite a large fleet of ferries with little or no standby resources. The increasingly hefty costs of adequate maintenance would which would have the (perhaps politically unwelcome) benefit of making investment in new replacement ships more attractive. Unless, perhaps, they’re discovered to have ‘lemons’ like the Finlaggan’s mezzanine deck.
  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    There was (maybe still is?) a small ‘flying squad of’ engineers from Campbeltown who travelled the world repairing faults in ships on the move, and I got the impression that it was good business.
  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    I wonder what caused the Hebridean Isles’ heavy contact with Kennacraig pier?
    The Isle of Arran got into trouble in West Loch Tarbert in 2010 when a mechanical failure led to just such a heavy contact with Kennacraig pier, but that was in February just days before she was due into drydock anyway.
    And there must be a question about to just what degree Calmac’s ship breakdowns are simply due to the age of their fleet, if the Finlaggan’s mezzanine deck was inoperable just when it was most needed.

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